TikTok to be in US congressional hotseat over school-trashing content
The TikTok logo is pictured outside the company’s US head office in Culver City, California, US, Sept 15, 2020. REUTERS
TikTok will face questions about content that may have led children and teens to steal from or vandalise school bathrooms and other facilities when it and other large social media companies appear before United States’s Congress on Tuesday.
In setting a hearing focused on TikTok, Alphabet’s YouTube and Snapchat, the Senate Commerce Committee said the popular apps have “been misused to harm kids and promote destructive acts, such as vandalism in schools, deadly viral challenges, bullying, eating disorders, manipulative influencer marketing, and grooming.”
In his prepared testimony, Michael Beckerman, head of public policy for the Americas at TikTok, said that the company’s moderation teams work to quickly take down any such content known as “devious licks.”
The “devious licks” trend on TikTok pushed students to steal from schools or vandalise them.
“We recently saw content related to ‘devious licks’ gain traction on TikTok and other platforms,” Beckerman’s testimony says. “Our moderation teams worked swiftly to remove this content and redirect hashtags and search results… to discourage such behaviour.”
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